Duterte to ex-COA exec: ‘You can’t lecture me; I’m ahead of you by a mile’
President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday hit back at former Commission on Audit (COA) Commissioner Heidi Mendoza after the state auditor told the Chief Executive to respect the anti-corruption mandate of the agency.
Mendoza snapped back at Mr. Duterte after the President expressed disdain at accountability measures being imposed by the COA to curb wasteful and improper spending during times of disaster.
Duterte even said that state auditors should be “pushed down the stairs” during a post-disaster meeting in Ilocos Norte.
“She cannot lecture me because I was ahead of her by a mile in understanding the nitty-gritty…” Duterte said in a speech during the oath-taking of village officials in Malacañang.
He again slammed the COA circular, which prohibits some government spending.
“You convict a person by a circular? Not even by a law?” he said.
IN THE KNOW: Heidi Mendoza, former state auditor
The President mentioned how local chief executives were bound with the COA circular, especially after a disaster.
“So ‘yung doon sa Benguet, sabi nitong ano because they have to comply with certain regulations, sabi ko to hell with COA. Do not listen listen to them. Just do what I;m telling you to do. I will answer them. Basta dumating lang iyang pagkain and every peso was spent for the food and anything that is kailangan ng tao, ako na ang magsagot niyan,” he said.
“Pag nasabit kayo, I will answer for it. Do not bother to worry about anything. Iyan naman ang trabaho ng Presidente,” he added.
Mr. Duterte’s rant against the COA came after Gov. Imee Marcos complained about the P15,000-limit being imposed by the state auditing agency on requests for cash advances to buy food as typhoon “Ompong” (international name: Mangkhut) hit the province. /kga
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